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“It Exposed Me To What Funding Was Like in Canada”: How The Breakthrough Program Can Help Your Career

In 2016, Lisa Rideout embarked on the Breakthrough Program with her project Act Three. Her film Take A Walk on the Wildside evolved out of feedback from the program. A short year later, it was premiering at the prestigious Hot Docs Film Festival. The film, which scored a BravoFactual grant, is still travelling on its festival tour. […]

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“You Have To Line Up The Dominoes”: How To Market Your Film Strategically

Breakthrough alum Shasha Nakhai is having a banner year. The short film Frame 394, which she produced, was launched to great acclaim at the 2016 edition of Hot Docs, going on to score 2 CSA nominations. It eventually landed on the Academy Award® shortlist. Shasha, who also received the Don Haig Award/Telefilm Canada’s Emerging Filmmaker […]

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Hugh Gibson on Pitching: Set a Scene and Tell a Story

Breakthrough Mentorship Program Alum Hugh Gibson was just awarded the richest film prize in Canada. His first feature “The Stairs”, which premiered at TIFF in 2016, was honoured with the $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award by the Toronto Film Critics Association. We spoke to Hugh on how he’s learned to effectively pitch and put […]

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Are You The Best Person To Tell This Story?: How To Make Your Idea Stand Out

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the doc world lately, you’ll see Breakthrough alum and director Victoria Lean’s name everywhere. Her film After the Last River, about the effects of diamond mining in Northern Ontario, opened the 2015 Planet in Focus Film Festival, where it won Best Canadian Feature award. It also nabbed the Nigel […]

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“Don’t Pitch in the Bathroom”: How to Be Memorable (The Right Way)

Director Elisa Paloschi is an alumnus of Doc Institute’s 2010 Breakthrough Program. Her documentary Driving with Selvi, filmed over a staggering 10 years, tells the tale of a former child bride who escapes to become South India’s first female taxi driver. She launched the film on the 2015 festival circuit to great acclaim; it premiered at Raindance UK, was […]

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“Breakthrough Was A Wake-Up Call”: How To Pitch Your Film

Breakthrough Alumni Nicolas Kleiman and Rob Lindsay’s documentary Why Horror? has travelled across the world, from Toronto (where it scored the Bronze Audience Award at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival) to Mexico, Spain, and Paris. The film was picked up by Showtime in 2015 and was recently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in the Best Documentary Program category. […]

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